After almost leaving Juventus last summer, Paulo Dybala – astonishingly – is thought to be available to clubs again this transfer window.
The Argentine forward was out of favour in Turin last summer, and after Maurizio Sarri’s arrival as manager looked to be heading out of the door with a one-way ticket to London.
But after scoring 17 goals and contributing 14 assists across all competitions, Dybala was named as Serie A’s MVP for 2019/20 – pipping teammate and global superstar Cristiano Ronaldo to the prestigious award.
So it’s even more of a surprise to hear that, having worked his way not only back into the club’s plans but into a role of lead talisman, Dybala is apparently for sale once more following the appointment of Andrea Pirlo as the club’s new manager.
La Vecchia Signora are understood to be ‘willing to part ways’ if a substantial offer is received, while other reports suggest that one of either Dybala or Ronaldo will be sold this transfer window. It would take a lot a tremendous amount of guts to move on the Portuguese magician, so perhaps Dybala seems the ‘easy option’ to move on – but really, he shouldn’t be the one sacrificed.
At the age of 26, Dybala is nearing his prime and his statistics prove it. 2019/20 has seen the Argentine contribute over ten goals and assists in a season for the first time in his career, showing the improving all-round ability he possesses.
Ronaldo on the other hand, aged 35, only has two years remaining on his current deal. If the club’s methodology behind selling one of their two most prized assets is to reap the financial benefits, Ron would surely have to be sold before his contract expires, or even before it has just a year left to run.
Ronaldo may have an incredible goalscoring record, yes, but building the attack around a younger player like Dybala – who can work well with any striker – should be how Juventus plan to go about their business. It makes far more sense to keep hold of him, get Ronaldo off their books while they can – still commanding some sort of fee – and enter the market for a new striker that can flourish alongside the former Palermo man, not despite him.
There’s also another big reason for sticking with Dybala.
To transfer a player the two sides agree a fee, agree terms with the player and after finalising additional agreements it’s all done, right? Sadly, things aren’t that simple when it comes to Dybala.
The Argentine’s image rights are privately owned by a third party company called Star Image, so any Premier League club – assuming they’re the only ones who can afford to sign Dybala – wanting to sign him would have to pay a substantial fee to purchase those, outside of the agreed transfer fee with Juventus.
Fans of Tottenham Hotspur learned this the hard way when their side had agreed a €70m fee with Juventus in the closing days of last summer’s window., only for the deal to fall flat on its face because of – you guessed it – Dybala’s image rights.
It was later reported that Spurs were told to pay Star £13.7m for Dybala’s image rights, and that is the minimum that any Premier League club wanting the Argentine will have to pay on top of a transfer fee.
This makes a transfer, especially to England, unlikely for Dybala unless interested clubs are willing to splash out that little bit more.
So while it may seem like Manchester United and Tottenham have an opportunity to rekindle their interest in Dybala, don’t be surprised if it’s only the world’s richest clubs – Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City – who consider this not to be an obstacle in negotiations.
In reality, Juve may be ‘open’ to moving Dybala on, but the ball is unfortunately not in their court. What is in their court is the ability to take stock, recognise that he’s good enough to be the future of the club – the lead talisman, if you will – and build an empire capable of conquering Europe around him.
Ronaldo’s great and all, but he’s most certainly not the future of this historic football club.